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Rwandan president Kagame to speak, Sept. 21

Rwandan President Paul Kagame, a central figure in ending the African country's 1994 genocide, will discuss Rwanda's progress in a lecture scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, in McCosh 50.

Kagame's address is titled "Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development in Africa: The Rwandan Experience."

In July 1994, Kagame led the guerrilla army Rwandan Patriotic Front in capturing the capital of Kigali and ousting the extremist Hutu government, which had organized the killing of an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus over 100 days. The tragedy recently was depicted in the film "Hotel Rwanda."

Kagame became Rwanda's vice president as part of an agreement ending the Rwandan strife in 1994, then became president in 2000 when Pasteur Bizimungu resigned the post. In 2003, Kagame won a seven-year term in Rwanda's first presidential election since the killings, running on a platform of national unity, economic growth and strengthened governance and justice.

Kagame was born in central Rwanda in 1957 but fled to Uganda in 1960. He became involved in the Ugandan army and received military training in the United States.

The event is being organized by Akwaaba, the African students assocation at Princeton, and is co-sponsored by the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, Program in African Studies, International Center and Bobst Center for Peace and Justice.

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